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Officer gets call about fight and arrives to find two bald eagle’s stuck together
He arrived on the scene and realized he’d never dealt with a situation like this before.
Rebecca Reid
12.13.21

Two very ‘angry birds’ were causing quite the scene in a Plymouth, MN neighborhood.

When officer, Mitch Martinson responded to a disturbance, he was pretty shocked to find two Bald Eagles laying on the road with their talons stuck together. Witnessing two of nature’s most majestic birds caught in a battle is something you don’t see every day and this posed a unique challenge for Martinson.

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

There is a first time for everything.

Officer Martinson has been trained to deal with disputes between two parties but that has never included birds…until now. Despite this predicament, he wasn’t about to walk away without attempting to free the birds. He spoke to WCCO-CBS Minnesota about how he felt about the bizarre situation. “We do have de-escalation tactics, but I’ve never applied them to eagles or other animals.” – Martinson told WCCO-CBS

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

No, it’s not a two-headed Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagles will often fight over territory. According to theeaglespride.com, ‘shrinking habitats and growing populations have resulted in the increase of territorial disputes. Therefore, these stuck-together Bald Eagle sightings are becoming more common.’

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

Officer Martinson calls for backup.

To get a little advice on how to deal with the tangled birds, Officer Martinson reached out to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Raptor Center. They confirmed the eagles were likely in a territorial dispute. “Eventually the eagles started going at it again and the next thing you knew they were just flying away.” – Martinson told WCCO CBS Minnesota

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

The Plymouth Police Department shares the feathery feud on Twitter.

This kind of workday simply has to be shared. After the incident, the officers post the story on Twitter with part of the caption reading, “there’s no telling what call could come in next.” The post included photos from the incident. Never a dull moment for these officers!

A dangerous dance.

According to theeaglespride.com, “Male Bald Eagles grapple talon to talon squawking and tumbling through the air. The birds usually break free as they fall, but occasionally their talons become locked together and the birds smash to the ground, roads, or onto trees.”

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

The turf war had the neighborhood in complete shock.

Neighbors couldn’t believe what they were witnessing. It’s pretty amazing to see a Bald Eagle flying nearby or sitting on top of their nest but to witness two up close is extremely rare. “It’s crazy… it’s hard to believe it happened right here on the street.” – a neighbor told WCCO CBS Minnesota

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

Bald Eagles can get seriously injured during a battle.

The Bald Eagle fighting ritual is common but it can be harmful and sometimes deadly. According to theeaglespride.com, the Bald Eagles talons can ‘become stuck while the birds are involved in a free-fall. At times one of the birds can be injured or stunned. They also may fight until one or both birds die.’

“Sometimes, the birds are so focused on their struggle that they don’t realize they’ve landed in a parking lot — or in a tree above a house. Sometimes getting stuck in a tree as neither will let go.” – theeaglespride.com

YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota
Source:
YouTube screenshot - WCCO CBS Minnesota

Now watch this incredible video of the two Bald Eagles stuck together.

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By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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